First you decide, then you become, for better or for worse. You have chosen to be exactly who you are. If you want to be different, you need to choose to be different.
We live in a world where we talk and act as though we are victims of our circumstances, be it our past, our parents, our spouse, our children, our personality type, our taste buds, our culinary skills, or lack thereof, our addictions, and our genetics.
There is so much we just cannot do, or attain, or deal with because of “who we are.” Take note of yourself, how often do you say you cannot do something because of who you define yourself to be? I bet you say “this is how I have always been,” or “this is just the way I am,” more often than you say “this is who I want to be” or “this is who I am becoming.”
As a Healthy Life Coach, these are the phrases I hear often concerning the notion of becoming healthier….
“I know I need to eat more vegetables to be healthier, but I hate vegetables, I always have, it’s just me.”
“I know I need to cook more to be healthy, but I don’t like cooking and I am not good at it.”
Or, the most common response to any unwanted habit or trait is…
“I have always been this way. This is just me.”
Excuses. Excuses. With very few words, you stop yourself dead in your tracks, you keep yourself from moving forward. You go backwards in time, to where you got stuck, to where you became the only obstacle to your own growth by deciding exactly who you were, and making that decision permanent.
Can you remember where, when or why you decided to make this who you are, for good?
You tell yourself and you tell others, over and over again, that you cannot change yourself because you have decided that you are unalterable. That your disdain for vegetables can never be overcome. That you cannot learn to cook or ever find enjoyment in creating delicious food for family, and friends. That you cannot change your lifestyle because you are too busy and overwhelmed. And when you choose to think of yourself like some sort of permanent fixture in the world, you literally paralyze yourself, and you become about as exciting and inspiring as a rock (think “set in stone”). You don’t feel alive and energetic because permanence lacks life and energy. While you stay committed to your excuses, and your fixed state of mind, you are rejecting the inspiration, ideas, dreams, potential, and possibilities that swirl around you.
“If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.”
You see human beings are not fixed or unchangeable, no living being is. We are so quick to jump to our excuses and justifications, and so slow to realize that every time we choose to define ourselves by who we have always been, we are choosing to live in the past, instead of choosing to create a new now, and a new future.
I hate to break it to you, but you can change anything about yourself, and your life. In fact, you are biologically and neurologically designed for constant, lifelong change. It is what keeps us healthy, fulfilled, curious, inspired, youthful, and empowered. Think about the wonder of a child, verses the stubbornness of an old man set in his ways. Which do YOU want to be?
You can choose between being more youthful and wonderstruck, in awe of the world where there is always so much to see and learn, or you can choose to stay stuck and fixed in your ways, which inevitably leads to lots of negativity, worry, and anxiety.
I tend to think that much negativity and struggle comes from human resistance to the natural process of our own growth and evolution. As a verb, evolution is defined “to develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” A human being that evolves, is a human being that is changing, advancing, and progressing in their lives. Growth is life. Make no mistake, if we are not growing, we are dying. So it makes perfect sense that those that stay stuck feel lots of anxiety and worry as time, and life passes them by.
When you choose excuses and limiting beliefs day after day, you are willfully giving your power away. You are memorizing powerlessness, creating patterns of it within your mindset, and you are storing it as your go-to operating system.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. All operating systems can and should be updated when they start to slow us down. And it’s never too late to learn how to change our minds, and lives.
You are not what you think you are. You are, what you decided to believe about yourself, and day after day, you stay devoted to that limiting, inert version of you. Maybe for you its not the veggies or the cooking, maybe a little voice in your head tells you that you can’t start a business, run a marathon, go back to school, or fix your marriage. The only difference between you and someone who lives fearlessly, authentically and energetically, is a decision about what to believe. Because we humans naturally aim to affirm our beliefs, the problem is that too few of us intentionally choose beliefs that inspire us to become. As long as you insist that you “are who you are” you willfully deny your tremendous potential.
If you want to start a wondrous, inspiring journey to become. To learn how to override the old operating system, and how to intentionally cultivate a healthy, happy, and empowered life, please join The Healthy Life Club. We are not messing around, we are deciding who we want to be. The next group starts in September. Details can be found in this link https://www.cindycarbone.com/hlc/
Only weeks stand between me and that dreaded college drop off date. He only turned 18 in May! Always one of the youngest in his grade, I now wish I had held him back.
I want to watch him grow, and mature one more year. I want to make him dinner, and pick up his wet towels for another 12 months. I don’t think that I can bear walking by his room and seeing his bed made, his drawers closed, and his dry towels neatly hung.
This is a major turning point in our lives. Less than a month from now, my oldest child will never really live full time with us again. He is off to California, University of CA, Berkeley to be exact. And the world literally sits at his feet. Education is sometimes wasted upon the young, but we have made certain to explain to our son the privilege and opportunity that attending Cal affords him. That being said, we have also made sure to drill this advice into his young mind. But just to be certain, I want to put it in writing.
So here are 10 bits of advice for my college bound son.
Don’t think you need to know the end result, in fact, don’t focus on the end result. Enjoy the journey. It is a true privilege to study for 4 years at a world renowned institution. Your job is to explore and learn. Never assume that you dislike a subject based on your high school experience with that subject. There is so much out there that you have never experienced, and it is okay to not know what you want to do in 4 years. Pursue your passions, not the end result (job or money), and it will all work out for the best.
Go on a term abroad.
Hang out with professors, and surround yourself with peers that challenge you.
Use your right brain. I am convinced that the future belongs to the creatives and the compassionate. People with new ideas and innovations, and people who have interests that are greater than money, and themselves. Find a problem in the world that you care about, and set out to find a new way to solve that problem. You can make money, and make the world a better place for all that live in it. When your work has a higher purpose, you will feel fulfilled, powerful, and energized every day.
Get involved in clubs and/or sports, so that you can expose yourself to different people.
You will be around very intelligent people. You will be around people with very different life experiences. And this is a wonderful thing. Don’t be afraid of not knowing something, or think because you don’t know something that you are stupid. Be curious. Be humble. Ask questions and seek understanding from those with more knowledge and experience. Understand this very important fact. Intelligence and ignorance are not genetically decided, they are cultivated traits of character. Let me repeat that. Knowledge and ignorance are willful character traits. Truly smart people have a growth mindset about themselves, and the world. They are humbled by that which they don’t know, and view education as something that has no limits or end. Learning is a lifelong pursuit for those that view themselves as a growing and evolving healthy human.
Be a good roommate. Keep your side of the room clean and in order, it will reflect well on you and be respectful towards those you share space with.
Always respect women, especially those that don’t respect themselves. They need your kindness and respect the most.
Do not fall for peer pressure (group settings, think fraternities). Know your limits and stay within them. Be a leader, and never be afraid to go against any group think mentality because group think means you aren’t using your head.
Lastly, and importantly, the people you surround yourself with at college will be linked to your future. Chances are that your future opportunities and endeavors will hinge on the relationships you develop over the next four years. That being said, who you are in the next 4 years matters more than most college kids have the sense to realize. Your behavior, your interests, your self respect, your integrity, your hard work, your treatment of others (or lack thereof) will be witnessed by everyone that you come in contact with. What will people see in you? What will your friends and professors say about you? Trust me on this, you don’t want to be the drunk, the womanizer, the fighter, the jokester, the pot head, the arrogant asshole, the manipulator, or the student who never goes to class.
There you have it. I realize I neglected to mention social media, but we had this conversation in high school. To reiterate though, never put something on social media that you are not okay with the world seeing.
As sad as I will be leaving you, literally, in a whole new world, I could not be more thrilled for you. I bestow this advice, because most of us don’t appreciate these experiences until they are gone. And they go fast.
I believe this special school chose you for a reason, and I want nothing more than for you to follow your passion, and never let your fears or doubts take you off your path. Some may not realize this, and many will resist it, but the truth is that the world is changing, and the future will be shaped by those who dare to intentionally create it. Trust me when I say that coloring within the lines, and abiding by all the conventional cultural rules is boring. Dare to be different, and you will make a difference.
America has sold its soul for money. It’s been a quiet contract that has lurked in our shadows for a very long time.
That insidious “Deep State” we hear so much about is not a group of specific people, it’s the darkness of humanity. It’s greed, fear, scarcity, and the selfishness we find within ourselves.
Donald Trump is merely a symbol, a flagrant red flag, of what we have allowed ourselves to become.
We have always given moneyed interests power, and treated them specially. For some really strange reason we have chosen to believe that money is synonymous with good, even the religious have bought into this belief. Despite the thousands of Bible verses condemning greed itself. The Bible says verbatim that it’s impossible for rich men to go to Heaven, more than once, and very specifically. Here are a list of Bible verses that talk about greed.
Matthew 19:24: I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Yet even the religious worship money. Ironically, Christianity was birthed by Jesus’ condemnation of the rich and powerful religious elite. He called them out, and made his humble position with the poor, weak and marginalized well known.
History really does repeat itself.
Mankind always has to be pulled from the deep dark depths of its’ greedy hell, and we will go as low as using God himself, to justify our human desires. This is nothing new folks. We aren’t unique, this is how the world turns. Which is probably why the Jesus spends SO much time warning us about greed.
Which leads me to share something really important. We are not blessed by material things, we are blessed by emotional well-being. The feelings of love, empathy, peace, hope, coherence, and gratitude, that is the state of being that we all seek. Those are emotions of a divine connection that is beyond the material realm. It is found internally, not externally. When you have an insatiable need for image, status, money, power, and material desires it is because you are NOT connected to the divine. The divine holds no such void.
But until we ALL see this, we are doomed to keep repeating our mistakes. We are doomed to keep seeking a heightened emotional state in our ego driven desires.
We are a severely fractured and divided society right now, but not for the reasons we think. We are divided because we are being called on to evolve and change. And growth and change causes massive unrest and discomfort. It hurts, it disrupts and it throws us off balance.
People defend the honor of Trump, of Clinton and of their political parties, religious institutions etc not because they are really defending those people or institutions but because they are defending themselves. Because most of us have sold our souls too. Bought into this idea that money is everything. Bought into image, status, power and materialism. Bought into identity politics.
We have sold out our own health, our intimate relationships, our identity, and our well-being, all in the pursuit of money and material possessions.
We can’t hold our leaders, institutions, systems or country accountable because we cannot bear to hold ourselves accountable.
We created this mess. All of us. The little things we neglected to see. The quiet corruption. The little lies. The hypocrisy. The justifications. The apathy. The ignorance. The immediate gratification. The blame.
We have ALWAYS attacked truth tellers. They make us so angry. They fracture our well built facade. We tell them to get out, go somewhere else, tote the line or else! We hate to hear about our own ugliness and faults and mistakes. Even though that ugliness, those faults and those mistakes are our opportunities for growth.
Even though the truth tellers are trying to help us become better, we shun their courage and punish them for empowering us to progress.
But without awareness of ourselves and intention to become better, we have no purpose.
I see this, clear as a bright blue sky because many years ago I was faced with decisions that led to my own growth. I had to look in the mirror, and see my ugly. I had to challenge my beliefs about who I was, and break down my facade. I made choices that were hard and I fully exposed my faults and mistakes in order to rectify them.
Something really transformative happens when you stop lying to yourself, you become seamlessly connected to truth.
Falling for liars is never about the liars, it’s about the lies we tell ourselves.
Most of our leaders, systems and institutions are corrupted by greed. It’s THAT simple.
Those of us who identify with specific leaders, groups, systems or institutions will protect the reputation of our group. It happens with all scandals and facade breakdowns. Familiar examples to you may be the Catholic Church pedophilia, Penn State, Abu Ghraib torture and abuse, USA gymnastics sexual abuse, our current political system that allows for legalized bribery of ALL of our politicians.
The list goes on, and on, and on, and most of us are party to one or more of these systems. And when we identify strongly with any group, we will close our eyes to its faults and issues. We will find ourselves defensive and angry when others criticize the group we identify with. And when we find ourselves in that defensive and angry state we need to stop, and realize that we are reacting to our discomfort with the truth.
Lies will keep us comfortable. But comfort is the enemy of progress.
And that is where we sit today. Unhealthy, incoherent, and stunted in every which way.
We were created to evolve and progress. It is an inevitable part of the human condition. Anyone that has studied the human mind and body knows that we are made perfectly. Our human nature is to connect, love, explore, and expand. We are designed for change and growth.
The truth we don’t want to know will ALWAYS make us uncomfortable and disrupt us. This is not something that should be feared, it should be revered. It is a necessary process of human progress. It is change, and our humanity is calling on us to evolve right now.
Your truth and liberation lies in you understanding where you are angry, defensive and most uncomfortable.
Stop trying to change others. Change yourself. I promise that you will be stronger, braver, happier, healthier and your personal transformation will influence the world in powerful ways.